Speak Up, Malvern


On January 29th at 6:30 PM, high school students from Malvern Prep, Villa Maria, Devon Prep, and Notre Dame gathered in the Duffy Center for the annual Speak Up event.

Speak Up is an organization that involves hundreds of schools, and reaches over 100,000 urban and suburban youth, parents, and educators each year. Its main purpose is to provide students with a judgment-free and safe environment where they have the chance to talk about issues in their everyday lives along with peers and adults.

This year, over 400 students came to the event. Students poured into the Duffy Center and listened to a few introductory speeches followed by the keynote speaker, Kevin Wanzer. Mr. Wanzer was a writer for the David Letterman show and now presents his positive and essential message about how important our own feelings are, and how to relate with our parents, to audiences around the globe. His brilliant speech was filled with humor and he captured the entire audience.

Mrs. Kenworthey, the Speak Up moderator said, “He was extremely funny. Everyone seemed to love him!”

After the opening speech, students went into breakout groups where they discussed topics such as sex and pressure, depression, who you are, drugs and alcohol, and handling stress. I went into the, “Who You Are” group, and it was truly a rewarding experience where I was able to ask myself questions that I never had before.

It’s not often one gets to really feel comfortable speaking on issues this prominent today for youth, but Speak Up provided a place where students felt that they could really express themselves.

Speak Up is held once a year on our campus. Try it out next year or get involved as a Speak Up committee member. It’s truly a great experience.